Garlic Parmesan Cauliflower “Mac” and Cheese

Cauliflower “Mac” and Cheese made with a creamy garlic parmesan cheese sauce. It’s a lighter version of macaroni and cheese that is flavorful and cheesy, so you don’t miss the pasta!

Cauliflower “Mac” and Cheese is a lighter and healthier alternative to macaroni and cheese, replacing macaroni with cauliflower florets. No the cauliflower doesn’t taste like pasta, but it is coated in the same creamy cheese sauce.

Roasted Cauliflower

This recipe also uses roasted cauliflower as opposed to steamed or boiled cauliflower. And it makes a huge difference. Vegetables taste different went roasted, but cauliflower especially is completely transformed. I used to dislike cauliflower until I tasted roasted cauliflower. When it’s roasted, it brings out a sweetness that isn’t there when it’s cooked through other means.

Normally, I make this dish with the traditional cheddar sauce but recently, I thought I’d try making it with a garlic parmesan cheese sauce. I used the sauce from my garlic parmesan macaroni and cheese, which is one of my favorite macaroni and cheese recipes.


Garlic Parmesan Cheese Sauce

The sauce is thick and creamy, made even more decadent with the use of heavy cream. Once the sauce is done, you can either drizzle it over the cauliflower, or you can add the cauliflower to the cheese sauce and coat the florets in sauce.

This dish came out so delicious, I didn’t miss the macaroni noodles at all. I plan on making this recipe often!

Garlic Parmesan Cauliflower "Mac" and Cheese

A lighter version of mac & cheese using cauliflower instead of macaroni. The cauliflower is coated in a creamy garlic parmesan cheese sauce.


  • 2 lb cauliflower florets
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp low fat milk
  • 3 large garlic cloves
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp dry mustard
  • 1 tsp finely chopped parsley
  • fresh ground black pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Place cauliflower onto baking sheet. Brush surface of florets lightly with oil. Roast cauliflower for about 15 minutes or until tender.
  2. In a small saucepan, add milk and garlic cloves. Bring to a gentle simmer until garlic softens and garlic flavor infuses into the milk. I like to apply pressure on the garlic cloves as they simmer so that they release more flavor.
  3. In a medium saucepan, add butter. Bring saucepan to low heat and melt the butter completely. Add in flour and whisk until smooth roux forms. Discard garlic cloves from milk and then add milk into roux.  Add in heavy cream, parmesan cheese, mozzarella cheese, garlic powder and mustard. Bring saucepan to medium heat. Whisk and stir until cheese is completely melted and sauce is thick and smooth.
  4. Either drizzle sauce over roasted cauliflower, or add cauliflower into the cheese sauce and stir until cauliflower florets are coated in sauce. Sprinkle with ground black pepper and parsley.

All images and content are © Kirbie's Cravings.

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2 comments on “Garlic Parmesan Cauliflower “Mac” and Cheese”

  1. This looks delicious! Can’t wait to try out another cauliflower recipe.

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